Moving With a Toddler

by , under THE NEW HOUSE

We were concerned about moving our two-year-old son to a new house.  How would he react?  Would he miss the old house?  Luckily, that wasn’t a problem for us!

Our son loved running around the new house as we installed the new flooring.

My husband and I recently bought our first (and hopefully forever) house.  Moving entailed renting a uHaul and having our parents help us move the 6 years worth of stuff we accumulated, our two-year-old son and all of his stuff, and our three cats.  It was crazy to say the least, and I learned I am an expert at maneuvering a 10 foot box truck.

We had moved two of our three cats before, so we knew how they would react. Those two were understandably apprehensive and hid most of the time.  The other cat, the most easy-going creature you’ll ever meet, took to the new house like he owned it.

What we were most concerned about was moving our two-year-old and how he would react.  Our worries were unfounded, we soon discovered.  He loved the new house!  We had managed to avoid the horror stories of children crying for their old home and not sleeping for the first several weeks by acclimating our son to the new house.

Before we actually closed on the house, we took our son with us to cut the grass (the listing agents hadn’t kept up with it and it was 18 inches high in some parts).  At the end of that long, sweaty day, he threw an absolute tantrum when it was time to leave.  For once, this tantrum was a good sign.  He already wanted to stay at the new house.

Each time we went out to work on the house, we took him with us.  We established which room upstairs would be his playroom and put some of his favorite toys in it, along with some blankets and a pack of diapers.  The key here was familiarity, bringing objects he loved and knew and placing them in the foreign space.  We then allowed him free rein of the house.  Like our cats, he needed to “sniff out” every corner of the house on his own and gather his bearings.  By the time the official move date arrived, he already was begging each day to “go new house”.


Moving A Toddler to a New House Summary

— Introduce the child to the new house several times before the move-in date

— Establish his/her own space in the house (the bedroom, a play room)

— Place toys and familiar objects in the new house for your child to interact with

— Making sure the house is child-proofed, allow your child free rein to “sniff out” every corner

— Talk about the new house with your child every day before the big move


If your child is at the age to move to a toddle bed or start potty training, consider putting these off until after the move.  Your child will already be stressed as it is from the move that he won’t be able to focus fully on learning the new skills.